Politics as usual
So much for change. Rod Blagojevich, the soon to be former Governor of Illinois, but perhaps new resident of Jolliet, Illinois was arrested this morning for trying to sell Barrack Obama’s Senate seat. Under Illinois law, Blagojevich has the sole power to appoint new Senators in when one leaves office before his/her term is up ,as the President -elect just did. Rather than break with long standing Chicago precedent, the Governor, who for the most part has refused to reside in the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield, preferring Chicago ,where the real graft is, put the political job up for sale. The soon to be former Governor, along with his chief of staff (Chicago speech for henchman)have already been indicted and will be arraigned today.
I was informed by one of the elderly volunteer tour guides at the Vachel Lindsey home in Springfield that Blagojevich was a creep who would come to no good. I thought that it was just bitter down state Republican talk, but apparently the lady knew a rat when she smelled one. She is smiling today, I bet.
For well over a century, just about every political job in Chicago has been for sale at one price or another, why not Senator ? it is rare for a Senator to resign and give the Governor a chance at such a big score, these politicos usually get money doled out to them for minor offices, road contracts and subway fiascos. This is something different, the shadowy “candidate 5” mentioned in the Governor’s indictment offered half a million bucks for the job. Not chump change.
Followers of politics and sleaze (ah, but there I repeat myself) may recall that Blagojevich obtained his office by replacing George Ryan who is currently serving a sentence in the penitentiary for more than a decade of bribe taking and racketeering. A newspaper once noted that Governor Ryan had changed jobs from selling license plates to making them. Blagojevich defeated Jim Ryan (no relation to George) for the Governor’s job after George Ryan left the scene. Jim Ryan is no relation to Jack Ryan whom Obama defeated for his Senate seat in 2004 when Ryan’s wife, Star Trek Hottie Jerri Ryan, told the news media that Jack made her go to sex clubs and perform sexual acts in public. As far as I can determine, none of them are related to my law partner , Matt Ryan, possibly the only innocent Ryan in the country. Illinois, the “Land of Lincoln”, the heartland of America. I suddenly recall why Illinois had elected no President (before Obama)since Lincoln. All of their contenders were in jail.
So, as the prosecutors once said about Spiro Agnew,the poster child of political sleaze, it looks like “they’ve got the evidence cold”. Maybe the Governor can get into the same cell block with his predecessor, although Blagojevich is a little bit of a pretty boy (at least compared to ex-Governor Ryan), the authorities, and his new neighbors at Joliet, may have something special in mind for him.